Iowa State Ends Furious West Virginia Comeback, Wins By 4

West Virginia won 8 of the final 11 events in a spirited comeback effort, but Iowa State ultimately held off their Big 12 rivals with a win in the final relay.

The Cyclones of Iowa State won 4 of the first 6 events to build a big points lead, that run including a comeback 1000 free win from senior Haley Ruegemer. Ruegemer trailed by more than two seconds at the 700-mark, but battled back to win the race in 10:23.70.

Iowa State freshman Emily Haan had a big day, sweeping the backstrokes in 55.83 and 2:04.54.

But West Virginia went on a late run, powered by three wins from sophomore Morgan BullockHer first win (2:04.45 in the 200 fly) kicked off the run, which also included a pair of diving wins from junior Avery Hobbs. The Mountaineers won eight of ten events during the stretch, ending with back-to-back swimming wins from Bullock in the 100 fly (56.01 before the diving break) and 200 IM (2:06.29 just after the diving break).

But Bullock had used up her four entries by the 400 free relay and Iowa State iced a 152-148 win as the visitors just ran out of time in their potential comeback. 100 free winner Anna Andersen led off in 52.05 for Iowa State, and freshman Elynn Tan had a key split of 51.61 on the anchor leg.

Full results


Press release courtesy of Iowa State:

AMES, Iowa – The Iowa State Cyclones (7-3, 2-0 Big 12) finished with a huge 400 freestyle relay victory against West Virginia (3-3, 1-1 Big 12) to take the meet 152-148. Senior Haley Ruegemer came back from a two-second deficit in the 1000 free to win the event, while freshman Emily Haan stepped up in a big way with a pair of event wins, plus contribution on both winning relays. For the fourth time in five years, the final relay has decided the outcome of the Iowa State-West Virginia dual.

To start off the meet, the Cyclones earned their seventh 200 medley relay victory of the year with Emily HaanMartha HaasElynn Tan, and Evan Hundley touching at 1:44.17. Senior Haley Ruegemer followed the effort by winning her final 1000 free in Beyer Pool with a 10:23.70. The senior captain was behind by over two seconds at the 700-split, but stormed back in the next four lengths to virtually tie the lead swimmer, then won the event by over two seconds.

“I knew I had to stay in contact with [West Virginia’s Kallay],” Ruegemer said following the meet. “The 1000 gets a lot into strategy, and I knew I had a lot left in me. I tried to make the most of it and trust the training I have had the last four years.”

Freshman Emily Haan had a key swim in the 100 back, taking first at 55.83, her second-fastest time of the season. The breaststroke squad brought in more points for the Cyclones, with Haas and Lehr Thorson going 1-2 in the 100 breast against a strong breaststroker in Emma Harris. By winning four of the first five events, the Cyclones had a commanding 63-30 lead. Andersen scored essential points with a win in the 100 free, touching at 51.85, just .12 seconds ahead of West Virginia’s Nilton. Haan’s second victory of the day in the 200 back (2:04.54) put Iowa State up 102-86.

Iowa State finished 2-4 in the 200 free, 200 breast and 100 fly, while also taking the second and third slots in the 50 and 500 free to keep pace with the Mountaineers in those events. The effort gave the Cyclones a 128-117 lead headed into one-meter diving.

In the diving well, Dana Liva led the way on the three-meter for the Cyclones, posting a 278.10 with some excellent individual dives along the way. Senior Sydney Ronald came up clutch with a third-place finish in three-meter diving, putting up a 269.85 in her final dive set at Beyer. The finish kept the score tied at 132 heading into the final two events.

“My first dive wasn’t that great, so I knew I had to put the rest of the dives down to get the score I wanted,” Ronald said. “I realized on one-meter that these are my last dives, and I put it all out there on the boards.”

Ruegemer and Lucia Rizzo took second and third in the 200 IM, but West Virginia still took a 144-139 lead into the 400 freestyle relay. The team of Andersen, Hundley, Haan and Tan touched at 3:28.07 to take first, and coupled with a third-place finish from Iowa State’s ‘B’ relay, the Cyclones won the meet 152-148.

“I’m very proud how our women got up and raced,” head coach Duane Sorenson said. “The turning point of the meet was Haley Ruegemer coming from behind and winning the 1000. That was the upset of we needed and the rest of the way our women kept fighting and fighting.”

“This is a huge victory,” Ruegemer said. “This meet always seems to come down to the wire. It really showed how gritty we are and how we have been working on our last 30 to push off on the last turn and get our hands on the wall.”


Emily Haan performed outstanding in the victory. Her two victories marked numbers three and four of her career, her other two coming against South Dakota State and Iowa. The freshman has been a key member of both the 200 medley and 400 freestyle relay squads, and her split in the meet-clinching relay gave the Cyclones over a second of cushion.

“The team got me really pumped up,” Haan said. “Duane gave us all a pep talk before [the final relay], and with the team support, we were able to succeed. It was a really fun atmosphere.”

“We knew that [Haan] was extremely talented when we were recruiting her,” Sorenson said. “She’s been on the big stage before, but for her to come through like she did, I’m very pleased with her effort.”


The Cyclones are off next week but return to action in Lawrence against Big 12 foe Kansas in their final dual meet of the year. Following the dual, Iowa State will begin their final preparations for the 2019 Big 12 Championships which begins on Feb. 27 in Austin, Texas. Follow the team on Twitter (@CycloneSD) or on Facebook at for in-game updates, post-meet recaps and results

Press release courtesy of West Virginia:

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The West Virginia University women’s swimming and diving team rallied late with five consecutive victories but came up just short in a 152-148 loss at Iowa State on Saturday afternoon, at Beyer Pool, in Ames, Iowa.

In another tightly-contested meet between the Mountaineers and Cyclones, West Virginia won nine of 16 events, including 1-2 finishes in both springboard competitions. Junior Morgan Bullock led the way with three individual victories, while senior Averly Hobbs posted wins on 1- and 3-meter.

“I’m very proud of how the team battled back after the sluggish first session,” WVU coach Vic Riggs said. “Honestly, the meet could have been over after that session. Our divers did a phenomenal job on 3-meter to get us back into the meet, and we swam much better in the middle session. They fought very hard, we just came up short. We still need to improve on our turns and a few other areas before the Big 12 Championship, but, overall, it was a very strong day for the women.”

In its final regular-season meet of the season, WVU fell to 3-3 in dual meets and 1-1 in Big 12 action. ISU improved to 7-3 overall and 2-0 in the league. Along with Bullock and Hobbs, senior Emma Harris, junior Julia Nilton, sophomore Giselle Gursoy and freshman Lauryn Kallay also earned wins at ISU.

Bullock’s wins came in the 200 butterfly, 100 butterfly and 200 individual medley. Her first victory was the first of three in a row for WVU, while her second and third were part of five consecutive Mountaineer wins.

The 200 individual medley win came before the 400 freestyle relay, where Iowa State touched the wall first to win the meet.

Both of West Virginia’s win streaks included Hobbs’ springboard victories. She won 3-meter with a 306.45 and 1-meter with a 288.90. A pair of fellow seniors finished second on both events, as Madelyn Woods was second on 3-meter with a 287.70, and Julia Calcut second on 1-meter with a 270.90.

“I’m really proud of the divers today, each of them came in and did their job,” WVU diving coach Michael Grapner said. “I saw a lot of improvement from warmups to competition and the attitude was very positive. I can’t thank the senior girls enough for their commitment to the team and the memories we have made through the years. It’s been a great ride, and I’m excited for Big 12’s and Zones. Today, the entire team did a fantastic job representing themselves. It came down to the wire, which was nothing short of exciting.”

Action in the pool began with WVU’s second-place finish in the 200 medley relay, as sophomore Ally VanNetta, Harris, Bullock and Nilton finished with a time of 1:45.02.

The first individual event was the 1,000 freestyle, where Kallay placed second in 10:25.75, ahead of junior Alex Pampalone, who was third with a time of 10:40.54.

Gursoy posted the Mountaineers’ first win in the 200 freestyle, as she touched the wall in 1:51.55. VanNetta followed in the 100 backstroke, finishing second in 57.63, and Harris then placed third in the 100 breaststroke in 1:05.36.

Up next was Bullock’s first win of the day, thanks to her 2:04.45 in the 200 butterfly. Sophomore Kayla Gagnon added a third-place finish in the event with a 2:07.67.

Nilton made it two wins in a row with a 23.63 in the 50 freestyle, before Hobbs led a 1-2 finish on 3-meter for WVU’s third consecutive victory.

Then, the Mountaineers added two runner-up finishes, as Nilton earned a 51.97 in the 100 freestyle and VanNetta touched the wall in 2:05.96 in the 200 backstroke. Pampalone followed with a third-place finish in the 200 backstroke, courtesy of a 2:06.79.

With six events remaining in the meet, the Mountaineers won the next five. First was Harris’ 2:20.28 in the 200 breaststroke, followed by Kallay’s 5:02.89 in the 500 freestyle.

Bullock’s second win of the day, a 56.01 in the 100 butterfly, was followed by Hobbs’ and Calcut’s 1-2 finish on 1-meter. Bullock’s third win, and West Virginia’s fifth consecutive, came next in the 200 individual medley with a 2:06.29.

The meet concluded with the 400 freestyle relay, where WVU placed second. Nilton, Kallay, freshman Emma Bliss and Gursoy touched the wall in 3:29.23.

Saturday marked the sixth consecutive year WVU and Iowa State have met in the pool. The meet was the Mountaineers’ final regular-season competition before the 2019 Big 12 Swimming and Diving Championship, where the WVU men and women travel to Austin, Texas, from Feb. 27-March 2.

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About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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